Promoting county interests, advocating good public policy
and providing education to Idaho's county officials

Legislative Update – February 13, 2019

After a month of little activity, things are finally starting to pick up at the state capitol. Over the last week IAC has introduced five bills or memorials on behalf of the membership. We expect to introduce three others this week and are working on other legislative items yet to be introduced. Among the bills introduced are:

  • Senate Bill 1054 related to the appointing authority for regional mental health boards.
  • Senate Bill 1055 to repeal the requirement that county clerks issue an AIDS pamphlet with marriage licenses.
  • Senate Bill 1074 clarifying the obligations of a county sheriff in providing medical care to individuals no longer in the sheriff’s custody.
  • Senate Bill 1093 codifying court ordered pretrial release supervision programs.
  • House Joint Memorial 5 regarding no net loss of private lands when private lands are sold or exchanged to the federal government.

By the end of the week we expect to have also introduced legislation addressing the following subjects:

  • Clarifying terms of the state liquor fund distribution to magistrate court services to ensure funds are made available in a timely manner for the provision of magistrate court related services.
  • Authorizing the collection of juvenile probation fees when the court places a juvenile on probation.
  • Amending Idaho’s tax intercept law for debts owed to the court to ensure that debts owed to the court for infractions as well as debts less than $50 can be intercepted.

Among the other major items we continue to work on are addressing county levy cap constraints, advocating for local option taxing authority for county jails, advocating for counties to be able to post public notices on county websites in lieu of newspapers, and advocating for increased state funding for public defense.

Plans for Medicaid expansion in Idaho are also beginning to take shape. The first six months of expansion will be funded by a combination of funds coming from the Millennium Fund and savings to state agencies attributed to Medicaid expansion. These revenues will cover expansion costs from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Some legislators are exploring broader funding options beyond June 30, 2020 that include diverting a portion of county revenue sharing to help pay for future expansion costs. We are also seeing some “sideboard” or “enhancement” bills, including Senate Bill 1100 sponsored by Senator Mary Souza. Senate Bill 1100 proposes the establishment of an optional workforce development program for individuals receiving Medicaid assistance, requesting a waiver to allow stand alone mental health treatment facilities to accept Medicaid payments, as well as certain program review requirements if the federal government ever changes its cost share from the current 90/10 federal/state split.

Stay tuned for future updates and alerts. As bills begin to have hearings in the coming days, IAC will send out legislative alerts to keep everyone informed of what is going on in Boise.